New French travel restrictions for Covid-19 hit UK industry plans in Cannes
France’s decision to impose a seven-day quarantine on people arriving from the UK over fears over the Indian variant Covid-19 that has been detected in the UK has further complicated plans for the film industry from the UK. country to attend the Cannes Film Festival. July 6 to 17.
European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune confirmed details overnight, saying the measures would include seven days of mandatory self-isolation and the requirement of a negative PCR or antibody test, taken within 48 hours of departure.
In addition, non-French or non-resident visitors will have to demonstrate “compelling reasons” to enter the country. Whether a festival would be part of it is very questionable.
The measures will come into effect from Monday (May 31). It is not known how long the measures will last or when they will be reviewed.
The move follows Germany’s decision last week to ban people traveling from the UK unless they are German citizens or residents, while Austria has banned all direct flights to destinations. and from the United Kingdom, with effect from 1 June.
It was hoped that restrictions on people arriving in France from the UK would be lifted on June 9, in line with the planned reopening of borders between all EU member states. As a non-EU member, the UK is now treated as a third country and is no longer automatically part of these agreements.
The head of the market, Jérome Paillard, said Screen Thursday (May 27) that he was trying to pinpoint the precise implications of the new travel restrictions for participants.
It is believed that the festival is exploring whether the new entry requirements can be relaxed for guests, but would not officially confirm this and it is not clear whether the French government would agree to such a measure in the face of the growing incidence of the variant. Indian in the UNITED KINGDOM.
The UK was the third largest country in terms of market attendance in 2019, its last physical edition before the 2020 break. A total of 1,145 UK professionals attended. The United States was the largest participant with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943, according to Market data.
Presence in the UK is expected to be more low-key in July due to health concerns and travel restrictions linked to Covid-19. The British Film Institute (BFI) had already decided to put its Cannes activities online rather than running a physical pavilion on the Croisette, while British sales agents had also indicated to Screen that they were unlikely to physically attend unless they had an official selection film or one of the parallel sections.
However, a number of UK-based professionals have booked flights and accommodation in recent weeks. Falling Covid-19 rates in the UK, a high vaccination rate and the opening of France from mid-May had fueled optimism about the possibility of attending Cannes this year.
The most recent move now raises the prospect of a much reduced British presence on the Croisette this year and the possibility of festival film screenings in the UK.
The festival is expected to announce the official selection lineup on Thursday, June 3.
This article originally appeared on the sister site, ScreenDaily.